Well it doesn’t look all that romantic but the Monday after Easter is known in many Polish communities as Dyngus (Dingus) Day! Apparently in Chicago it was also known as Switch-Kiss Day. The day is normally celebrated with lots of Polish food and beer and the highlight of the day is when men (originally young farm boys in Poland) would chase after the girl of their dreams and dowse or sprinkle her with water and than gently tap (unlike the guy in the the photo above) the girl he would choose with a switch or more traditionally a pussy willow.
The tradition supposedly goes back to 966 A.D. when Prince Mieszko I of Poland was baptized into the Catholic religion. The water signified purity and the pussy willow was one of the first spring blooming plants.
Sometimes the water was replaced with cologne and the pussy willow with any twig or switch (very 50 Shades of Grey if you ask me).
The ladies shouldn’t fret though because the day after the ladies would throw crockery at the males in return (ouch!)
I have not heard anything about Dyngus day in Chicago which was pretty surprising since we have such a large Polish community in Chicago! If anyone out there is celebrating Dyngus Day let us know and ladies take an umbrella or rain coat!
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